Thursday, November 01, 2007

A well spent Day

While Phish wants me to write on ‘good writing’ and circumstances want me to write to my mother, I chose to write about today because I'm unable to sleep without doing so.

After seeing off my friend on a train headed towards Trivandrum from CST (popularly known as VeeTee), I thought of treating myself to my old neighborhood…the area known as ‘town’. This area was my first exposure to Bombay because of my stay at the YMCA, Colaba during the beautiful first two years in the island city.

So, I began with a walk inside the porticos of the old gothic buildings, which has a million DVD (pirated) and old books stalls. Between the many calls to buy porn DVDs from the Dhoni/John Abraham look-alikes, I ended up buying two books from these pavement people. 'Tales from Underground' (as my original copy was missing from my library) by Fyodor Dostoyevesky and a collection of funny writings by Woody Allen, called 'Without Feathers'.

Happy with the purchase and humming ‘The Wedding March (for some reason)’ by Mendelssohn, my next stop was at the institutional Tea Center next to the Curchgate Station. I sat there sipping on the excellent Darjeeling Flowery Orange Pekoe, First Flush along with some French toast, and funnies from Mr Allen’s book. ‘I wonder what happens after death. Will we be able to take showers after we die?’ he writes. The man is genuinely funny.

After relaxing for an hour at the place, I came out with a fresh mind and a pack of Apoorva Makaibari tea. My next destination was the great 'Gokul Restaurant & Bar' in Colaba to meet my brother in law, Shoaib. By now, the evening had started asking the night to replace her.

The cabdriver who gave me the ride from Churchgate to Regal was happily singing an Alaap in what felt like Raaga Bhimpalaasi (the excellent Bhajan, Allah Tero Naam, from the old movie, Hum Dono is based on this raga) to me. He was singing it very well. A quick conversation revealed that Dinkar, the cabbie has learnt Indian Classical, vocal for 5 years and loves practicing it while he is taking people here and there. When I asked him if he uses it for commercial purposes, he replied, ‘I just like doing it for my happiness and nothing else.’ I felt wonderful about meeting such a man.

The great and once again institutional Gokul was absolutely the same…guess it will always remain the same. It lives in a time warp. Smokey, No Nonsense, Quarter system, Mostly men bar (many say its a gay joint too). The gang of friends who are always there on their regular table had come. The first time I had seen them was some 8 years ago and ever since, they come there everyday. Once, even I used to go there everyday.

Shoaib and I had a good time with conversation on important and unimportant subjects. The conversations were laced with Teachers, Port and good old Gokul food. Later, we caught the cabs to our respective destinations.

Back at home, before sleeping I took a shower while Pete Dorge sang ‘Small Time Blues’ from the CD player. Contrary to the popular theory, it didn’t help me drift into a sweet slumber and here I am writing this piece.

That’s how Victoria Terminus (Vee Tee) used to look in 1908.

ps: I've started on the write-up, Phish.

15 comments:

Naked said...

M - that was one big tea-se of a blog; think i should call you cha-cha!! Tripped hard on this one, esp the remarkable beings that you embark...the cabbie reminded me of that Lankan woman.

meraj said...

yeah...its always delightful to bump into great creatures. glad you tripped!

Two With Nature said...

:)

Bhaskar Khaund said...

victoria's secrets revealed ! sounds like a perfect day,take a walk on the wild side..tripping hard on Lou ..Reedy , velvet and magnificent underground !I don't know where i'm going,well i guess i just don't know

alien said...

trip to gokul and biryani @ baghdadi...you made me trip in my past which was going smooth and came the TITANIC without blowing the horn and sent me back to life....
cheers!!!!

Two With Nature said...

again...not forced. there's not much i could say...but i smiled. for i know what its like.

mr bojangles said...

'By now, the evening had started asking the night to replace her..'

very nice!
and it looks like you're going to be humming the Wedding March more and more often!!

meraj said...

Bojangles, the march is in the air, sir!

two with nature, thanks for the smile

Bhaskar, you wont believe this...was myself tripping on 'walk on the wild side' that day. do dodo dodo dodo....

phish said...

i am glad. great post though. i could feel the entire walk. without feathers i.e.

POOJA NAIR said...

i wonder why you kept humming the wedding march...;)

Chaga said...

Hey, the wedding march! Do I hear something?!

Smiling Dolphin said...

great post. whose life hasn't been touched by gokul? so when do i get to meet my sister-in-law in person, huh?

meraj said...

thanks for the appreciation, Dolphin.
and if you remember, even we havent met in person, forget the sis-in-law.

m

Smiling Dolphin said...

maybe we have. you just didn't notice. mallus are the nicest people. you're a lucky guy.

meraj said...

yeah, you are right...mallus are a good breed!

and maybe i didn't notice coz of them ringin' bells :)